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May 12, 2011 11:26 PM by Maddie Garrett

Morgan City Outlines Flood Protection Plans

The people of Morgan City filled the town's high school gym Thursday night hoping for more concrete answers about the flood and possible evacuations.

Morgan City Mayor Tim Matte outlined a clear plan of the city's flood protection efforts. But even with all of the information, some questions still lingered for the people of Morgan City.

"This is a historic event, there is absolutely no doubt about it," said Col. Ed Flemming, the New Orleans District Director for the Army Corps of Engineers..

With record breaking floods on the way, many people are wondering if the levees will hold and what the City is doing to prepare.

"We really weren't getting any valid information, everyone was kind of saying different things, nobody really knew anything," said Sharon Daigle of Morgan City.

So Thursday officials tried to clear the air and outline a plan for Morgan City and surrounding towns.

"If we can raise the levees and keep the water out of the city, there won't be a need to protect each house on an individual basis. That's been our strategy," said Mayor Tim Matte.

The City and Parish will also monitor those levees and sink a barge in the Bayou Chene to hopefully prevent back flooding into Lake Palourde.

"The next battle line, if you will, is Bayou Chene," said Matte.

"I feel better, I feel like they've taken a lot of precautions, that we're prepared. They don't think we're going to have to leave which is good," said Daigle.

But one thing the Army Corps of Engineers still did not give a clear answer on was the Morganza Spillway.

"I think what we did expect to hear is that the Morganza is going to open on such and such date, it will last this long and this is going to be the after effect," said Richard Maag, Pastor at the Atkinson Memorial Presbyterian Church in Morgan City.

The Corps would only say it's still unclear if they will need to open the Morganza, but it could happen as early as Saturday.

"There could be a change in the system, there could be some other factor, some new number, some up to date forecast that will change our strategy," said Matte.

City and Parish leaders don't think Morgan City will have to be evacuated, but with any force of nature it's important to be prepared for the unexpected.

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